Updated 14th June 2023

The Blood Pressure Study: What can blood pressure tell us about health?

Written byZOE Editorial Staff

    We’ve made it our mission at ZOE to research and improve human health beyond COVID. By registering your usual self and logging your health every day in the ZOE Health Study app you can help to fight diseases like cancer, heart disease and dementia. We’re excited to launch our latest study for you to get involved with, looking at how blood pressure relates to health, particularly following COVID infection.

    What’s the ZOE blood pressure study?

    The study aims to investigate how blood pressure relates to many health conditions, especially heart disease. We’re inviting all Contributors to the ZOE Health Study app to get involved in our latest study, to complete a survey, answer some questions and fill out a one-off blood pressure reading. Look out for your email invitation in August with a link to the instructions.

    From this, our researchers aim to discover what the long and short term significance of these blood pressure readings may indicate. 

    We’re also interested in looking at the impact of the pandemic and COVID infection on blood pressure and heart health, and will be looking at whether the risk of cardiovascular problems is heightened after infection.

    Why are we measuring blood pressure?

    The most popular study voted for by over 255,000 of you in the Studies Hub was The Role of Immune Health in Heart Disease

    By investigating blood pressure we can see if there is a link between high blood pressure and rates of viral infections. We’ll additionally be looking into whether people who had a COVID infection had an increased risk of cardiovascular issues like strokes, heart attacks or high blood pressure, and if this risk differs across vaccines. We also aim to investigate the connection with blood pressure and overactive immune systems.

    Not only can measuring blood pressure help us with this particular study, but will help inform many other aspects of our health and disease research.

    Monitoring your blood pressure regularly can help with early diagnosis for disease. Self-monitoring is especially important for people with elevated blood pressure or another condition that could contribute to high blood pressure, such as diabetes or kidney problems.

    Elevated blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications. Most people don’t even know they have it. A simple measurement taking a few minutes could prevent this.

    By having a comprehensive log of blood pressure and health logs, we also hope to investigate whether there’s a link between higher blood pressure and Long COVID, mental wellbeing, and other health conditions like migraines.

    How can you get involved?

    The study is open to all people with primary profiles on the ZOE Health Study app based in the UK. Simply look out for an email from us this month inviting you to join and follow the instructions. If you’re not already a Contributor, it’s easy to join. Head to the App or Google Play store and download the app today.

    Click the image to download the app

    You will need access to an approved blood pressure monitor to get involved with the study and take a reading. You should be able to check whether your device is approved by searching online, or you may be able to find it in this list. In general, BP monitor models made by the brands on the list are likely to be approved.

    If you don’t already have a monitor, you can buy one online. Some pharmacies also offer to do blood pressure readings, make sure to call and check before going. 

    Check out this video from May Measure Month for guidance on taking your own blood pressure readings.

    You can also watch the video below from Tim Spector where he takes his own blood pressure reading, and explains what we hope to learn from the Study.

    Instructions for taking part

    Once you have your monitor and are ready to start, you can head to your inbox and complete the survey there. You’ll receive your invitation to take part this month by email through the account your app is linked to.

    As part of the survey, you’ll be asked to provide three blood pressure measurements. Please wait 30 minutes before completing the survey if you’ve recently taken any blood pressure medication, recently drunk coffee or alcohol, or if you’ve done vigorous exercise as this will affect the accuracy of the readings. 

    The survey should only take around 10 minutes to complete and should be done in one go as you won’t be able to save and exit once started. 

    Please also make sure you have the names of any hypertension medications to hand before starting the survey. 

    The survey will guide you through the steps and questions required.

    If you have any questions about the instructions please contact our customer support team: covidteam@joinzoe.com

    Thanks to your daily reports, we’re able to provide an early warning system for diseases, and track and monitor outbreaks like COVID. The ZOE blood pressure study continues this exciting work and will help us to understand even more about our health.

    Help science and keep logging!